Documents from an Ohio National Guard (ONG) training drill conducted last January reveal the details of a mock disaster where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.
The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about “protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights.”
Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented “the reality of the world we live in,” adding that such training “helps us all be prepared.”
Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.
In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.
The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.
Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees’ “anti-government” sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists’ leader.
ONG’s 52nd Civil Support Unit participated in a similar drill involving left-wing terrorists with Athens County first responders last year; public officials apologized for that training the next day in response to complaints from local environmentalist groups.
No apology to Ohioans who support limited government and the Second Amendment appears to be forthcoming.
Scioto County Emergency Management Agency director Kim Carver refused to comment, telling Media Trackers she was “not going to get into an Ohio Army National Guard issue that you have with them.”
Ohio National Guard Communications Director James Sims II suggested Media Trackers was “inferring” from the ONG document’s contents as opposed to “what’s actually in the report.”
After excerpts of the report were read to him, Sims said it was “not relevant” to understand why conservatives may feel unduly targeted by ONG’s training scenario.
“Okay, I’m gonna stop ya there. I’m going to quit this conversation,” Sims concluded. “You have a good day.”
Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus told Media Trackers that “it is a scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy,”
“The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don’t have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right,” Portage County TEA Party Executive Director Tom Zawistowski said in a separate Media Trackers interview.
Media Trackers reached out to Portsmouth-area state legislators Representative Terry Johnson and Senator Joe Uecker for comment about the drill, which took place within their respective districts. Neither replied to phone calls or emails in time for publication.
ONG’s January 2013 training exercise is one of many instances where government officials have identified those with limited-government or pro-Second Amendment opinions as potential terror threats.
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement agencies that a predicted rise in“right-wing extremism” would be fueled by “proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans” and “the election of the first African American president.”
Throughout modern history, groups and individuals associated with left-wing causes have proven far more likely to commit acts of domestic terror.
In 2012, members of the anarcho-socialist Occupy Cleveland movement were arrested and prosecuted for attempting to destroy the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge with explosives, to commemorate International Workers’ Day.
Last year, leftist groups Earth First and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for the sabotage and property destruction of businesses in Washington and Van Wert counties.
[Editor’s note, 02/12/2014: Corrected Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison’s name and title in the third paragraph, both of which were incorrect in the WSAZ-TV story cited here.]